Who Stole the Jill Walker Prints Off My Wall??

Who Stole the Jill Walker Prints Off My Wall??

This is a story about Jill Walker’s beautiful artwork disappearing from and then reappearing in my life.

A thief with good taste: One of two Jill Walker framed prints that were taken from my Barbados rental apartment.

A thief with good taste: One of two Jill Walker framed prints that were taken from my Barbados rental apartment.

The Heist

Renting out the pretty apartment Greg and I own to folks who travel to Barbados is a great pleasure for me. Everyone seems to love our beachfront location in the lively St Lawrence Gap, the breathtaking & expansive view of the sparkling blue Caribbean Sea, and the casual luxury of the place itself.

Yep, this is what travel to the Caribbean is all about. here, a partial Caribbean Sea view from our rental apartment.

This is what travel to the Caribbean is all about. This bit of Caribbean Sea view is a fraction of the sea view from our rental apartment.

Renting the place is a personal experience; I and only I handle all rentals. By the time guests to our island arrive, we’ve gotten to know each other a bit; a bit of “bonding” has taken place. It’s not an anonymous transaction.

So I was really surprised when I discovered that guests in our place had removed and presumably packed in their suitcases and taken home the two framed Jill Walker art prints I had hanging in the master bathroom.

St Lawrence Beach Condominiums, "Deja Blue," Apt 11

Our vacation rental: St Lawrence Beach Condominiums, "Deja Blue," Apt 11

A Classic Whodunit

I didn’t discover the heist until weeks or months had passed. This is because turnover occurs quite quickly: guests depart and new guests arrive, usually on the same day. My faithful and hard-working colleague Monica Greene greets our guests, makes sure they’re comfortable, and keeps the place sparkling clean during their stay. I stop by during the guests’ stay to offer a welcome gift and say hello.

I also enter the apartment to replace vases, duvet covers, coffee cups, rugs, towels, artwork on the walls, and so on … it’s fun to keep the place fresh and pretty.

I noticed the bare wall in the master bathroom in early September. I immediately called Monica to ask what she knew. She said the wall had been bare for a good long time; she thought I was replacing artwork. Of course she didn’t think someone had packed the art in their suitcase; who would do that?? And why, when anyone could walk down the Gap and purchase the same thing at the Best of Barbados or Walkers World stores for a reasonable price?

My first thought: “It’s about me.” Did I personally offend someone I rented to? Did someone feel ripped off by the $200 a night price?

My second thought: “What goes on in the mind of this person?” Did the person …. just …. like …. them …. and thought they would look nice in their home? Once they hung the artwork, did they look upon them fondly, as a special souvenir from Barbados? Do they gaze upon them today without guilt or remorse? Do they feel a high from “getting away with” something? When guests come into their home and say “nice art,” does the thief say, “Thanks. I stole it from this lady’s apartment.”

My third thought: “Worry” Will they rent from me again?

My final thought: “Enjoy!” I hope the person who has the art is enjoying it. Jill Walker is a special person and her art beautifully captures the more innocent Barbados of decades past, a simpler way of life that’s mostly gone now. We’ve all had things taken from us; in the final analysis, they’re just things … I want the taker to appreciate and enjoy the specialness of these images.

I placed new framed Jill Walker artwork in the bathroom.

The Circle of Life

Friends invited Greg and me to a fundraiser for their son’s school this past weekend. There was a “Chinese auction,” in which participants purchase $10Bds  ($5US) tickets, sign their name to them, and place them in boxes in front of the various items on offer. At the close of the auction, a ticket is drawn and the winner is announced.

I placed a bid on Jill Walker artwork on a set of six place mats, each one featuring a different painting by Jill. Beautifully constructed, the place mats are a high quality hard surface backed with cork.

~~~~~~~ You already know where this story ends, don’t you?   ~~~~~~~

When my name was called I sprang up to the stage to collect my prize and whisper a little prayer of thanks to the gods who decide such things.

The new place mats will look so cheerful in our rental apartment. May they long be enjoyed by our guests.

A couple of place mats featuring Jill's work, propped up in the window of our patio while a guest basks in the early morning sun.

I propped a couple of the place mats up in the window of our patio to take this photo for you; aren't these sweet images?

24 Responses to “Who Stole the Jill Walker Prints Off My Wall??”

  1. Sue says:

    Glad the placemats went to a good home Jane! let’s hope they stay there! You know where to get them if they don’t! Maybe some Best of Barbados advertising in the units might help!

  2. Sue, hi. Always thinking like a businesswoman! I do give a packet of info to guests at St Lawrence Beach Condos and in the packet is a coupon to visit Best of Barbados; however, I’m not sure it specifically mentions Jill Walker’s art … I’ll have to look to see.

    For readers who don’t know, the writer of this comment is the owner, with her husband Chris, of Best of Barbados. Sue is also Jill Walker’s daughter, an artist in her own right, and a very good friend of mine.

  3. Greg says:

    Another beautiful post! I married a poet. Sorry guys, she’s taken.

  4. Stephen Maw says:

    I too had a set of Jill Walker prints stolen. A thief broke into my house in south-east London and stole all 6 prints. They had been a present from my dear friend Mark Hunte who was cruelly murdered on the island. I managed to get a replacement set and they still remind me of Mark, his lovely parents, cousin Derek?, his brother and sister and many happy holidays there.

  5. Stephen Maw says:

    ps. they lived in Villa Nova, St John, which I gather now is a hotel

  6. Hazel says:

    I was doing a search for Jill Walker prints when I came across your post and now I’m worried. I have 4 prints hanging in one of our self-catering cottages, a souvenir of our honeymoon and a few trips to the hockey festivals with Auld Reekies from Edinburgh. I love these prints and would hate to lose them. I was searching for a print of ‘The Old Ladies’ Home, Bridgetown’ which one of our guests fell in love with and wanted to buy. She suffers from MS and is sometimes quite poorly and her doctor son jokingly tells her he’s going to send her to an old folks’ home in Russia. When she spied the print on the wall and realised what it was she grabbed him and told him she wasn’t going to Russia, he could send her there, to Barbados, instead. It would be lovely to find a copy of the print to buy for her so any help you can give with this would be much appreciated. I’ll be taking pictures of all my prints now, just in case!

  7. Hazel, hi. Contact Best of Barbados, owned by Jill Walker’s daughter Sue Trew and Sue’s husband Chris Trew. Speak with Sue directly; find her e-mail and ph # on their site, http://Best-of-Barbados.com. Tell her that Jane sent you. Good luck! I know those prints hold a special place in your heart. xo

  8. Sue says:

    Hi, any idea how much Jill Walkers originals are worth?
    ‘Boats on a Beach’
    & ‘Hindsbury Road, Bridgetown, Barbados’
    Many thanks

  9. Sue, good morning. I will e-mail you privately with contact information where you can ask about the value of some of Jill Walker’s beautiful original pieces of art as well as availability. Please look for an e-mail from planetbarbados@gmail.com.

    xx Jane

  10. gabrielle says:

    Nice post, it reminds me, I was just speaking with my neighbor on this just yesterday evening. Seems she’d been hoping to hire a painting contractor and was stressing about the time to research, contact and screen painters, I can totally relate ,that is until she discovered this useful web site. Just thought I’d share it here in case someone else has almost no time for that work either!

  11. Esther Sustersich says:


    I am not sure if you are still checking this site. Last night I was at a friend’s house and she had a Jill Walker print on her wall. I asked about it (I am from Barbados) and she had picked it up at a thrift store. When I told her about Jill Walker, she decided to check the back of the print. It had 1/1 on it and had a note written on it about the fact that it was one of her first paintings. This one is a copy. It is from 1950’s. Can you tell me how to contact someone with regard to finding out what this is worth? Thank you.

  12. Jane says:

    Hi, Esther,

    Contact Jill’s daughter Sue Trew at suetrew@best-of-barbados.com and good luck to you.


  13. James says:

    Hi i have 3 jill walker pictures 2 big ones and a small one fishing boats in barbados &jubilee rd corner bridgetown and the small ones gt no tittle and would like to know if there valuable as ive just read people are stealing them from people houses dont wanna get mine stolen cheers

  14. Good morning, James. If they’re prints, they don’t hold a lot of value. Mine were prints and I think the guests in my place simply liked them and took them for that reason, not bec they thought the artwork was valuable. If yours are originals, they will have value and if you e-mail me privately I can give you contact info if you wish to assess the value of Jill Walker originals.


  15. James says:

    Thanks jane i think their prints i doubt ive gt the originals lol thanks for the info james

  16. Judy Zarazua says:

    Hi, I don’t know much about art. Please, how can I tell between one of Jill Walker’s Print or Original?

  17. Judy, good morning from Barbados. If you are ever in question about the originality of a Jill Walker piece, please contact her daughter Sue Trew at Best of Barbados. She will know. Jill’s art is so, so lovely, evocative of a time past of life on this beautiful island.

    Best to you,
    Jane Shattuck

  18. John Applegate says:

    I was lucky enough to find a numbered and signed Jill Walker print “The Old Ladies Home” at my local thrift store today… I am delighted. Would anyone care to share their opinion of value of this print. I have no intention of selling this, I bought it for my wife…

  19. Jane says:

    How great is that, John? I’m sure your wife will love her Jill Walker print. Jill depicts with beauty and sensitivity a Barbados life of long ago.

    You’d have to ask an expert regarding the value; I doubt a print would be very valuable, though, unless it’s out of circulation. An original Jill Walker, of course, would be quite valuable.

    I hope your wife enjoys! Your wife is lucky to have such a thoughtful hubby 🙂


  20. Bob says:

    Interesting……. I knew nothing about Jill Walker until this week when I walked into a charity shop and paid £4.00 for an original Jill Walker,, Barbados town square full of street life… vibrant one or two foxing specks. Is she collectible then? Size approx 12″ x 14″ any information would be welcome. Bob.

  21. Bob, I’m not an expert on Jill Walker but she’s a legend here in Barbados, with her depictions of everyday life over the past many decades that she’s been painting. I can’t speak to her collectability. If you’d like to learn more, you might contact her daughter, Sue Trew, who owns the Best of Barbados shops in Barbados.

    Best regards,
    Jane Shattuck

  22. Jill Walker (not the artist) says:

    Hello All! I live in East Tennessee and I have a print that I have had for a very long time. My parents took a cruise years ago and they came upon a outdoor market fair with a banner that read Here Today! Artist Jill Walker and she signed it, because of course my name is also Jill Walker so my parents wouldn’t have it any other way (no matter what they had to pay). I have always loved my artwork because of the name sharing and the nostalgia and beauty. Can you just please get word to her that she does make beautiful artwork and she has a fantastic name!! Thank you!!

  23. Jill Walker of Tennessee, thanks for writing. What a coincidence! I will absolutely let Jill of Barbados know her kindred spirit in Tennessee sends her regards. Thanks for writing. So lovely to hear your story.

    Warm regards from Barbados,
    Jane Shattuck

  24. Pip Wursch says:

    52 years ago I lived just down the road from Jill Walker. Maybe you remember my parents. Joan and Gordon Firmston- Williams. We lived at ‘Frenchies’ and I have 3 of Jills early prints. Beautiful ! I also silk screen printed material for her, of her design, for curtains in her sitting room. This was when I was working for Larry vandusen.
    Too long ago, I don’t expect you to remember.
    All the best to you Pip

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